Episode 63: Fanworks and Counterfeits

 
 
Episode 63’s cover: Claire’s two wedding rings, from  Outlander.

Elizabeth and Flourish discuss a recent brouhaha in the Outlander fandom involving fan group closures, counterfeit merchandise, what counts as acceptable fanart to The Powers That Be, and more. Topics covered include historical knitting drama, the bounds of fair use, Scottish tourism woes, and the centralization of Facebook as a corporate power. They also read and discuss a listener letter about the appeal of YA fiction and talk frankly about the recent fee structure changes at Patreon.

 

Show Notes

[00:00:00] As always, our intro is “Awel” by Stefsax.

[00:01:05] If you’ve never read a roundup of Diana Gabaldon’s fanfic comments, you really should go read the whole thing.

[00:03:56] Our most recent discussion of young adult fiction, to which Livia was responding, was in Episode 61.

[00:16:40] For more about the female gaze in Outlander and especially in the Wedding episode, read this great article about it by Jodi Mcalister.

[00:17:47] Diana Gabaldon’s post with the most complete description of what happened is here, on her Facebook.

[00:18:17] If you’re a member of Ravelry and want to know more about historical knitting than maybe is good for anyone, enjoy the very detailed thread discussing historical knitwear and Outlander here. (Sorry, if you’re not a Ravelry member it won’t let you see!)

[00:33:21] Claire’s chunky cowl looks like this:

Claire, from  Outlander , wearing a very chunky brown cowl.

[00:45:43] Elizabeth, when she sent this over to be put in the show notes, called it “yikes.png” and that is accurate:

A survey question reading “Please agree or disagree with the following statement: Facebook is good for the world.”

[00:49:16] We recorded this and posted it literally THE SAME DAY that Patreon announced they weren’t going to institute the fee changes because of the community outcry. Hooray!

[00:55:55]

An animated gif of Rosa, from  Brooklyn Nine-Nine,  saying “I’m dating a woman. I’m bi.”

[00:57:58] Read our interview with Henry! It’s in three parts: onetwo, and three.


Transcript

[Intro music: “Awel” by Stefsax]

Flourish Klink: Hi Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Minkel: Hi, Flourish!

FK: And welcome to Fansplaining, the podcast by, for, and about fandom!

ELM: This is Episode 63, Fanworks and Counterfeits.

FK: Indeed it is. So we're gonna be talking about sort of the space of fanworks and merchandise and fan created merchandise and all that, pinned to a fairly recent dustup in the Outlander fandom but also touching on a bunch of other things.

ELM: Yeah, get to talk about Diana Gabaldon.

FK: Yeah, I know you're gonna drag her, it's OK. That's fine.

ELM: Can't wait. Are you as well?

FK: I'm bored of dragging her by now.

ELM: [whoops] OK. Give people a little backstory, because I think that there are probably some people unfamiliar with why she is draggable.

FK: OK. Diana Gabaldon, the author of the Outlander series of books and who is very engaged with her fans and with the TV show that has come out of it, sometime back wrote a long screed against fanfiction and compared it to I think white slavery? Or rape? Or both?

ELM: She said, I believe she said it was like someone coming into her house, either seducing or raping her husband...shall we pull up the actual quote?

FK: No, let's not. It's...I mean...

ELM: It was definitely stealing her husband and I remember it being nonconsensual and then later I don't know if it was in the same passage or if it was at a different moment but she, yes, compared it to white slavery which led me to actually have to Google what the hell that meant because I'd never known.

FK: So she's eminently draggable for this. The thing is of course that she's also, and I don't mean to minimize that, but... [ELM laughs] we have dragged her about it many a time. The thing is she's also a super involved creator so she's talked with her fans since the days of Compuserve and has been super engaged with the fandom and gone back and forth with people, so she's an interesting person in that respect. So there's more things as well.

ELM: I feel like we've talked about this before but she seems to me, like George RR Martin, there are these old school science fiction and/or fantasy writers...I mean she's what, fantasy/romance, right?

FK: It's a time travel fantasy...

ELM: Historical romance!

FK: With a bit of time travel fantasy in it.

ELM: OK, it's not fantasy, so the time travel makes it seem like fantasy to me.

FK: Well there are sort of witches, kind of.

ELM: You know, these strong genres with strong conventions. You've read the Outlander books, from what I understand they may have had their origins in Dr. Who or her fannish feelings for a certain character on Dr Who, so it's the same sort of thing where I always feel like works that are relatively derivative are, and genres that often have a lot of derivative tropey stuff, are the authors that are the most insecure about fanfiction.

FK: Yeah. I mean, for sure. I think you're right. It's interesting because she's also been super supportive of other kinds of fan engagement.

ELM: Yeah.

FK: That's one of the things that I think we're gonna talk about because yeah, I don't know what else there is to say about it. There's interesting things about the fandom that's going on there.

ELM: Sure, sure. I think that's not unusual too, it's only the writing that makes people...

FK: Insecure.

ELM: Get territorial and act like dicks.

FK: But before we get into the parts in which actually she ends up not being a dick in this story, by the way...

ELM: PROBLEMATIC TO START but all right, alright, I agreed to talk about this so I'm gonna let this go!

FK: Before we get into that...

ELM: I'll park it!

FK: We have some listener mail to read!

ELM: We have a letter from Livia, who wrote to us about happy endings and also YA and I should say up front that Livia's 14 and so this is an actual teen perspective on YA, which is exciting.

FK: Woo hoo! OK read it.

ELM: OK, I'll read it. Hey Elizabeth and Flourish, I’m writing to you on the ongoing discussion of happy endings. (But I’ll probably throw some other things in there too!)

The ‘fairy tale’ ending of Happily Ever After in romances, and all stories to be honest, doesn’t reflect the uncertainty and changeableness (??? There has to be a better word for this) of the human experience. I think an HEA ending can sometimes be a nice escape and is a satisfying read, but, personally I find these books more forgettable and less meaningful than those that end with tragedy or ambiguity.

My mum is a self-published author and her books are YA novels that center around romances. She doesn’t consider herself a romance author as her books do not end with neat bows tied and everyone happy. Partly this is because of the YA genre – to write about teenagers and young people somewhat realistically, nothing can be certain or forever, because life is always changing, especially at this age.

I think fanfiction may often have an HEA ending because a story which ends happily is more of an escape from real life, which is also why some people read fanfiction. Also, if somebody is writing a story because they really ship something, they’re probably going to want to see this ship end up happily as they want their characters to be happy.

Other things: I think one reason YA books are popular with adults is because they veryoften focus around coming of age stories or identity stories. These make a super interesting read to people of all ages. I think the public perception of YA as shitty or not proper literature is pretty terrible, and though I don’t have much to say on this topic, I would love to hear you talk about this. 

I’d just like to say, thanks a lot for the podcast. I’m the kind of person who loves things deeply so I would say I’m fannish. But I’m not really involved in many fandom spaces, behaviors or discussions. I kind of just love things by myself, if that makes sense. Listening to Fansplaining makes me feel more involved in fannish culture. So... thanks! Livia, 14, Scotland. Smiley face emoji.

FK: She's like you! Or you when you were a lurker.

ELM: I was definitely involved in fandom, but I was lurking. I was like...you know. So. Not quite. I mean...I definitely do love things by myself. 

FK: That's what I meant.

ELM: Are you saying that you want some more of my critical opinions?

FK: Sure! [laughter]

ELM: You know I usually keep them to myself but I could let them all out right now once again!

FK: I love it when you let out all your critical opinions.

ELM: If they come up in the conversation I'll let everyone know.

FK: I thought Livia had some excellent points and also just wanted to mention, I think you said this up front, really good to hear from a teenager so we are not two old people talking about teens.

ELM: Yeah! If we have other teen listeners, please, we strongly encourage...especially in conversations around age, whether it's YA or age in fandom, and it's not unique to us, this is definitely a big conversation in the YA author space about adults talking over teens about their...maybe leaning too much on your memory of being a teen, which isn't quite the same as here in the Year of our Lord 2017 having a conversation with a teenager. Things are different. There's some things obviously, there are some things that are consistent over time, but you know what I'm saying.

FK: I know exactly what you're saying, I'm just grateful that you didn't break out the Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease.

ELM: What no that's only for pledges, the Alan Shartok, the Dr Alan Shartok of WAMC Northeast Public Radio. I'll save that one for later.

FK: OK, ok, ok.

ELM: When we're asking for money.

FK: OK, that's fine.

ELM: So some things that I think this letter brings up that kinda hammer home... obviously people find these topics very compelling because we've gotten a fair bit of feedback on them. The initial question was about why so much of fanfiction centered around shipping and ships, the ship getting together at the end of the story.

FK: For sure. One of the things that this letter made me think about is I think she's totally right that people enjoy an escape from real life, and there was a conversation that floated across my awareness recently where people were talking about how forced marriage or forced pregnancy fics were really bad and toxic and how they inevitably, not even forced, but accidental, right, woke up married...

ELM: Was this the conversation that wouldn't end that I was a part of or a different one?

FK: I didn't see you as a part of it so maybe it was a different one.

ELM: No, it was a conversation that Aja and I were at the heart of that you jumped in on, it was about forced marriage... no, not that one.

FK: No, it was a different one. This person was saying, it wasn't even forced marriage, it was anything where you've got two characters thrown together and they're stuck together somehow.

ELM: Fake boyfriend AU.

FK: Right, or someone gets pregnant. They were like this is awful because it takes away your choices. And I didn't say this at the time cause I didn't want to get embroiled, but one of the things I thought about was...yeah, because making choices is difficult and sometimes we want our choices to be taken away and just have it magically work out, right? That's not how it happens in real life, but this is I think another...that partially explains some of the popularity of that kind of plot, I think, at least for me. I don't know.

ELM: Mm, that's tricky, this is a road to go down that we could, but there's a difference between saying a story about a man and a woman who were casually or one night stand thrust together, the plot of Knocked Up, right?

FK: Yeah.

ELM: But to overlay the constructs of the marriage plot or the happily ever after of a romance novel on top of life's real choices? Because if you find yourself unintentionally pregnant and you have to decide what you're gonna do, and you don't have the partner, say you literally are in real life knocked up the movie, you don't have that...the structure of the romance novel overlaid so it's not like. The problem in your life isn't leading towards you actually discovering that you love him and that you should, you know. [FK laughing] Right?

FK: It's so true!

ELM: That's a little different!

FK: But it's the escapism of it. The idea that you know that life is not actually that plot, but oh, wouldn't it be nice if you were able to just rely on that plot existing.

ELM: Yeah.

FK: I'm not saying it's healthy, just saying it is what it is.

ELM: That's interesting. I feel like it's a little weird to single these out because obviously there's a lot of plot constructs that are overlaid and I don't want to zero in and say that only the romance HEA is inherently problematic. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't, it's complicated.

FK: We could say some more things about hero's journey stories, or revenge stories, right.

ELM: Ones that are less gendered. Yes, we could definitely. Or gendered, but not... coded masculine.

FK: Or gendered the other way.

ELM: Yeah. But one of the things I really liked about the point that she was making about her mother's work is I feel like one of the big problems with a happily ever after conversation, whether it's within fic or within professional romance or romance readers or whatever is this kind of idea..."I'm gonna come in and disrupt romance." Be like why do they always have happy endings? I'm gonna have a sad one. It's like bro, write your story, do whatever you want in the ending, why does it agitate you so much...so the question of fanfiction, I will always strenuously argue against anybody who says fanfiction has to be X. Fanfiction does not equal romance. Lot of romance within fanfiction, but we have not all universally agreed that every fanfic is a romance and every story needs to end with the characters getting together, and I think as long as we don't...I'm not gonna be that guy trying to disrupt romance. Livia's mother is not over here being like "I write romances but they're edgy because they're sad." She's like "I don't write romances, I write stories about teens." Know what I mean?

FK: Totally.

ELM: I guess I would say too the one thing in this letter that she asks us to talk about is about perceptions of YA being, people devaluing YA. And I think that's as simple as ageism plus misogyny.

FK: Yeah, yeah, pretty much. 

ELM: Is that too basic?

FK: I mean, I think you're basically right, I think that unfortunately because of those forces there's also people who don't have any experience of YA, good YA, pretty much at all. I was having a conversation with a friend who's a literary writer, the kind of guy who publishes short stories in fancy magazines, right.

ELM: OK.

FK: And he said that he had just seen Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and thought it was great and then he read it and was like "this is good!" And he was so blown away and he was like, YA has gotten good! And I was like I'm not sure it's GOTTEN good, and he was like, you're right. I think he had, when he was a young guy, just immediately launched into adult literary stuff, and ignored it forever, right. Not because he's a jerk particularly, but just because everything in the culture was telling him "don't read this, it's for young people and it's for girls and it's not for you." So I think he was very excited to discover that there was this universe of stuff that he had no clue about but still, it was a little sad, you know what I mean. Oh, you've sort of been part of this the whole time, but... oh. You're caught up in this bad structure.

ELM: Yeah, I think that some of it's borne of ignorance. I...I also just think that it's, I think there are a lot of cultural anxieties wrapped up in it.

FK: Yeah, I agree.

ELM: And I don't see any of that getting solved anytime soon. I think that, I feel like a lot of this is marketing. If you look at the...the book I'm reading right now actually, I was gonna say if you look at the history of Western literature, whatever, if you look at the history of the bildungsroman, you know, 100 years ago, people were perfectly happy to...is the Catcher in the Rye YA? Right? You know? I mean, I'm reading a book that is actually coming out next year here right now and it just switched narrators and it's now a 7 year old girl, and it's like, this is quite an adult book! You know? And so I think there's something...it's something about the label that gives people anxiety, the idea that there's a whole genre that centers on this and the assumptions that come with what a genre that centers teens is that I think is, like your friend, not actually based on any knowledge, just tied up in people's baggage about adolescence and adulthood and...we were talking about womanhood vs. girlhood when we started this conversation, that obviously is fraught. So. 

FK: For sure, for sure.

ELM: So yeah. Anyway, those are some thoughts.

FK: Those were some thoughts and that was a great email so thank you, Livia, that was wonderful.

ELM: We're so glad you wrote in and I'm also so glad you feel connected to fandom things because of us. We've heard this a whole bunch recently, I feel like in the last few months in particular, and I feel so... I don't know, I feel very emotionally moved when anyone says that. "I felt disconnected" or "I felt like I wasn't allowed to participate in this anymore" or "I wasn't allowed to participate because I didn't do the right things enough." So I'm just happy about that.

FK: You're welcome here! OK should we take a break and then talk about Diana Gabaldon and Outlander fandom and merchandise and other things?

ELM: Yes, we should talk about all those things, after a break.

FK: Alright.

[Interstitial music]

FK: Alright, we're back!

ELM: Outlander. I know you're the world's biggest Outlander fan.

FK: I would not say world's biggest.

ELM: You love it SO MUCH.

FK: It's FINE. I have my quibbles with it but I enjoy it. It's good escapist reading.

ELM: No, I know lots of people like Outlander.

FK: And the TV show, there's a couple of...I really like the direction in many episodes, so. There's that.

ELM: You mean like, what the director has done? Or...

FK: Yes. Outlander TV show makes a really good use of female directors and making sure that all of the most fraught moments are directed by women. So.

ELM: Oh that's great, I didn't know that! Cool.

FK: It's really notable, and in fact there's an episode in the first season, the wedding episode, which anybody who knows Outlander will know is like the most...it's the thing I would show people if I was like "this is what the female gaze looks like in film." I mean, the heterosexual white female gaze, to be clear, but it's so rare to find even that in a TV show that...!

ELM: I know. As absurd as that is.

FK: As absurd as that is. OK. So the Outlander stuff, though, really is only a way in to talking about some bigger issues, so the reason that I brought this to your attention Elizabeth was that in early November late October, there was a little bit of a dustup around Outlander fandom because a bunch of Facebook fan groups for Outlander got shut down. They got a notice saying that a third party had complained about copyright or trademark infringement happening on their pages.

ELM: Alright, pause. What does "shut down" mean? Did they wake up one day and the group was deleted and they got a message from Facebook saying your group has been...?

FK: Denied access.

ELM: Removed.

FK: Yeah, removed or, I'm not clear exactly on what it was like for them.

ELM: Suspended.

FK: Suspended, taken off, by Facebook.

ELM: So no one could see it.

FK: Yeah.

ELM: It was gone. Hidden. I'm sure it's not gone from Facebook's, you know, like when you delete your account.

FK: Yeah, it's not gone forever, but it's not visible to people. So there people, because Diana Gabaldon is really active, talks to people all the time, well known for doing things like getting into arguments with people about the historical accuracy of the knitting in her books and stuff...

ELM: Oh man.

FK: Oh yeah oh yeah. She gets into it with the knitters. Anyway, so people came to her and were like "what the fuck" and she went and talked to Sony about it and found out about what had happened.

ELM: So Sony owns Outlander.

FK: They do the television show.

ELM: OK.

FK: So apparently Sony had employed a company called "Counterfind" to shut down illegal merchandise, counterfeit merchandise, as well as ads that were using the image of the actors, like photoshopped images of the actors to sell things. So this company basically goes around and finds counterfeit merchandise or illegal uses of people's images and then sends out a blanket, you know, notices to shut things down. Right?

ELM: OK.

FK: So apparently they had hired this company to do it for Outlander and also other television programs. They closed down or froze a bunch of Facebook accounts as part of this, so basically Counterfind made this problem. They screwed up in doing this.

ELM: And to clarify these were not accounts that were selling merchandise, they were just fansites.

FK: No. I mean, it doesn't seem like it anyway. They may have had a couple of small things on there, but this is the other thing, Diana Gabaldon says and I'm gonna quote, I'll link to her Facebook post about this, but I'm just quoting you know when she talked to Sony: "We didn't get into the question of fan art or individually designed images, drawings of Jamie and Claire for instance that aren't photos, and I'll ask for clarification on that point. My impression though is that t-shirts which are hand drawn and use original images would be fine." And she talks specifically also about how they have a deal with Zazzle where Zazzle has a license with Sony so you can design something with Zazzle's interface with certain imagery and it's okay, so like, if you do an Outlander fun run and you want to put shirts using a photo, the particular ones that are on Zazzle.

ELM: Outlander fun run.

FK: Outlander. Fun. Run.

ELM: Just gonna linger with that one for a minute but please continue.

FK: [laughing] I don't know! But anyway this is actually part of what I thought was interesting about it. There's a couple of things, one of them is that there's this third party ecosystem where companies contract out with other people to find copyright and trademark infringement, one of them's that even though there's this huge and very very active Outlander fan merchandise making community this is still fuzzy, what's allowed and what's not.

ELM: Right.

FK: Another thing that's really interesting to see a writer playing the mediator between a company that owns a television show and the fans. 

ELM: Sure. OK. So my first question is, transformative works, fair use, does that only cover... it doesn't only cover noncommercial use.

FK: No, it can cover commercial use too, for sure.

ELM: So what's...where's the line then between...I'm wearing, as we speak I'm wearing a Harry Potter Christmas...even though it's a very fraught day in Harry Potter land I'm still feeling festive...we'll talk about that later. I don't know, will we talk about it? In our Year in Review we should probably talk about it actually.

FK: We'll talk about it in our year in review.

ELM: Today's the day, for context, when we're recording this, when JK Rowling released that just great statement...that was sarcasm.

FK: I know.

ELM: In case anyone thought it was great.

FK: Defending Johnny Depp's casting.

ELM: That's fine. It's not fine. Anyway. Yes. So I'm wearing this Harry Potter sweatshirt. I bought it at a street market in London for...I mean this is probably not legal but I bought it for like ten pounds. It was two for twenty, my friend Charlotte got one too, we got matching Harry Potter Christmas sweatshirts. Are they allowed to do this? Is this illegal? Am I wearing an illegal sweatshirt?

FK: Well, first of all it was in the UK and the UK laws are different.

ELM: Oh, say we were in New York when we bought it.

FK: It's complex, right? With fair use there's four different ways that people, four different tests or questions. Just a second I'm gonna pull them up so I get them correct. In the US there's four factors that go into whether something's determined to be fair use and you can't really know until it goes to court.

ELM: OK.

FK: So one of them is the purpose and character of the use, so like, if the purpose is for educational purposes or for a review like a newspaper film review or something, it's more likely to be OK. If the purpose is just to make money, or similarly if you're doing something that's a parody which means a lot of things, right, it can mean any form of critique of the work, so a lot of fanfiction counts as parody, it's pretty well established. Then that's more okay than if you're just like, slavishly reproducing the original, right.

ELM: Sure.

FK: So then there's the nature of the copyrighted work. What is the copyrighted work like? So for instance facts and ideas aren't protected by copyright. Amount is the third factor; the less of the copyrighted thing that's being used in relation to the whole, the more likely it's gonna be considered fair, so if you use a tiny amount of something you're safer. And the then fourth factor is the effect on the work's value. So this is one of the things people like to argue about, people say fanfiction makes Harry Potter more valuable because people write fanfiction and get other people excited. Someone could also say, like, well, no, it doesn't because people might read fanfiction instead of buying the next Harry Potter book.

ELM: But the latter is not connected to reality.

FK: Right, I'm not saying this is a good argument, I'm saying that that is the argument that would be had if people were arguing this.

ELM: So for the Harry Potter Lexicon case, for example, wasn't the whole worry...she had been saying she wanted to write a...?

FK: Yes. She was going to write...

ELM: The exact thing that he was trying to do.

FK: She was gonna do an encyclopedia, she'd already published the Harry Potter schoolbooks and he was taking a lot of things in the schoolbooks and just putting them into his book, so he was using a lot of it and it was potentially going to replace the thing that she was gonna make.

ELM: Interestingly what, it's been 10 years since that...I mean, not that long, and she hasn't...

FK: Pottermore.

ELM: But Pottermore is not a product that is sold, it's a free website.

FK: It's a free website but she's gettiing benefit from it, so.

ELM: Yeah, still though, it's funny. It's funny how that turned out.

FK: Right. So this is that aspect but there's also the trademark aspect of it too. So for instance... Trademark is a totally separate thing and has to do with people having the right to make official Harry Potter merchandise and have you know that it was made by the people who have the rights to make it. So for instance if someone sells Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, and someone comes out with something that is See Brothers and looks almost exactly the same, there's a trademark infringement potentiality there.

ELM: Did you name a real drink?

FK: Yes.

ELM: Fee Brothers.

FK: It's a brand of bitters. I'm looking at it. It's on my home bar. That's why, you know. I literally picked up my eyes and was like "what's the first trademarkable thing in this room?"

ELM: I believe you! I was just like, that's a really random example.

FK: Sorry, it's right there. Point being though, you see what I mean, it's intended so that you don't buy something that's pretending to be something else. So there could be an argument saying well, whoever made that sweatshirt is posing as real Harry Potter merchandise, so that's a trademark infringement.

ELM: I mean they're definitely not, it was in a street market and it was 2 for 20 pounds. If anyone thinks this is official Warner Brothers licensed...and I don't want that though! That's the thing. I have a bunch of Harry Potter clothing and except for the stuff that I bought from Hot Topic in the year 2002, none of it official.

FK: But this is the -

ELM: Things other people make is way cuter than the stuff they make, you know?

FK: That's the thing though. It doesn't necessarily...companies can choose to go after this stuff or not. To some degree there's a use it or lose it aspect, with trademark infringement, if you don't defend your trademark you can lose your trademark.

ELM: Really?

FK: Yes! Because it's been watered down. This is one of the reasons there's that thing about don't say Kleenex, say facial tissues? Did you see that, there was a meme about it? Some company made...I think it was Kleenex. Cause Kleenex is a trademark, and if people say Kleenex all the time potentially they could lose that trademark.

ELM: You'll be happy to know that I never say Kleenex.

FK: Well you and Nick both don't say Kleenex, and he doesn't say it for this reason.

ELM: I don't say it cause it just sounds weird to me. I would say gimme a tissue.

FK: You see what I'm saying though, right? If it becomes too common use or if there's no one who's preventing other people from using that mark then it can become, in the US it can be lost. So. I'm not a lawyer! I'm not a lawyer by the way, we all know this, right?

ELM: I think that we all know this, but we should probably say it again.

FK: Just let me say it again...I'm repeating things that I have been told by lawyers but I am not myself a lawyer, so. Anyway, this is interesting though, right?

ELM: So it sounds like in 2017 it really is at the discretion of the...based on this conversation and also other ones that I've had and even talking to a couple lawyers on the brand side, it seems like by and large most of the time they kind of figure that publicity is good and it's foolish to be going after people who might make a thousand dollars a year selling their Harry Potter t-shirts, right. Cause, I mean, even the acknowledgment, and I think it's probably hard for some of these brands to understand...for a fan, there may not be a finite amount. If you have the financial resources and you're really into X fandom, it's not going to be the official shirt or the independent made shirt. You want both shirts.

FK: It's gonna be both!

ELM: And obviously people do have financial constraints, but it's not the either/or that it might be for a casual consumer, right. You're not at the supermarket picking out a shirt. You're like, this is something that you love.

FK: Not to mention that there's a vast distribution difference. Outlander has, they have an official clothing line with Hot Topic and Torrid and people can buy that in malls across America and probably across the world, right?

ELM: I'm sure they do and I'm sure the people who are really into Outlander, if they have the resources, also buy the other stuff too.

FK: Absolutely, absolutely. And by the way, some of it's pretty cute. They've done a good job.

ELM: Wow. Are you gonna...next time I see you you're gonna be in full Outlander gear.

FK: No, the thing I really want is a real...they've done a reproduction leather coat, like a real coat, that's screen accurate, and I don't love Outlander enough to buy that but I love the idea.

ELM: How much does it...is it like 500 dollars?

FK: Yeah it's an expensive leather coat.

ELM: It's a leather coat, yeah.

FK: It's a real leather coat.

ELM: Let me tell you, just as an aside, about a month ago I was in Scotland. I was visiting Gav, and then I went on my own for a bit to Arran, it's an island. Every single store I went to had an Outlander item. At least one.

FK: Yeah.

ELM: I went to fucking Glasgow Cathedral, right, which is whatever 900 years old, gift shop, HALF OF IT WAS OUTLANDER CONTENT.

FK: Yeah.

ELM: To be fair, to be fair to that, I learned from my Glasgow bus tour that they filmed some scenes from Outlander in the crypt. So at least it was like a...a film location. 

FK: Yeah, it's funny actually, so I was doing some research into this and it turns out that Outlander having a lot of different kinds of unofficial and official and sort of halfway official merchandise is a really longstanding thing. It started off long before the TV show existed. People in Scotland especially, there were I guess a couple of jewelers who were making reproduction jewelry that was from the books.

ELM: You think that the church is doing fake Outlander stuff? Do you think it's real or fake?

FK: I don't know!

ELM: I wasn't paying that much attention. I was like "oh not here too!" I was like, in a rural...stores on this island, Arran, I mean it's not that isolated but still, you have to take a boat to get there, and every store I went in, many Outlander items. You know this whole thing too where it's ruining, they said that Skye is totally overrun with Outlander tourists? Do you know about this?

FK: I didn't know about this but I have to say that I'm not surprised.

ELM: Apparently, it was really funny. I read about this a while back, maybe it was the spring, saying that Skye they didn't know what to do. They don't have the infrastructure to handle that many tourists. And it was amazing because when I was on Arran, we were talking...oh, there'd been a massive amount of rain so a bunch of the paths were rained out and I kinda got stranded on a beach with a middle aged English couple and they became my parents for about an hour.

FK: Oh my God.

ELM: This is an aside but it's relevant to you. We wound up talking as we found our way back to the path, because we couldn't go in the direction you're supposed to go because it was just completely underwater, we started talking about Skye. And I was like yeah, I saw because of all the fans! And they were like "I know. That Harry Styles!" Because apparently he filmed something there?

FK: He filmed his music video there I'm pretty sure, yeah.

ELM: And they said they had just seen a news report saying that Skye was overrun because of Harry Styles fans! And I was gonna say Outlander and I was just like oh, GOD. So you're responsible on so many levels for the tourist overrun on the beautiful, historic Isle of Skye.

FK: I don't even know what to say.

ELM: I mean like, you know, these are better things for people to visit Scotland for than Braveheart, but...

FK: I agree. [ELM laughs]

ELM: OK anyway. Back to the topic at hand. 

FK: Yeah, I think the thing that is really getting me with this is that I'm not sure...it's almost like it's sort of a grey question, of what is fanart, to what is official merchandise and what's counterfeit. There's some things that are obviously counterfeit. If you're doing an exact reproduction of a thing and you're undercutting them, you're undercutting the offical merchandise...

ELM: But what's undercutting?

FK: Something that's cheaper than the official merchandise and it's an exact replica of the official merchandise.

ELM: Oh, so that's the undercutting.

FK: And you're undercutting them in that way.

ELM: Like, Starz is not about to go make me any Black Sails screen accurate clothing. What if I decided to do it myself? Am I undercutting them? They weren't gonna go do it in the first place.

FK: No, that was never what I was talking about.

ELM: Oh I know, so where are those lines? Is it only if you're copying the merchandise they already have? That's what counterfeit is, right? When it's goods, you can counterfeit them. Fake bags and stuff like that. But you're literally copying a good that already exists.

FK: Right. But then there's also complexities to this, right. So Outlander has a lot of knitwear in it, see Diana Gabaldon's arguments with historical knitting enthusiasts.

ELM: Sure.

FK: And the costume designers also have these arguments because a lot of the knitwear on it is not very historically accurate. However...

ELM: Awww, Flourish!

FK: I know, right? You can't see it without thinking "God, those chunky knits, they look like they came out of the 90s, not the..." Anyway. Point being though, there's these pretty simple patterns. I have a cowl that is basically just a big knit cowl, there's nothing special about it, and it is pretty much a replica of something on the screen. And they do sell it! They sell these cowls.

ELM: Yeah but you made it yourself, isn't that a fanwork?

FK: Somebody I know made it. But people sell the patterns for these things.

ELM: They sell patterns? Hm.

FK: Yeah. It's a little bit silly to buy the pattern for that because if you know much about knitting you know how to make it without a pattern, but number one some people don't know much about knitting and still want to knit it, it's easy to do, right, if you want to. But also then it's sort of fuzzy. Who...on the one hand it's so simple, on the other hand... you know, you're selling this pattern based on Outlander...so it's this weird murky space.

ELM: Some of this too for me, though, makes me think of our stealth cosplay episode or our stealth fandom episode, right?

FK: Yeah!

ELM: I think we even talked about it in the episode: All the different ways official merchandisers or the rightsholders, content creators and everything, really often seem to me to be out of step with what a lot of fans really want. Right? When I look at when certain fan made objects come into this sphere...like I can't imagine buying an official poster from any of the fandoms that I've been in, because I would want...but I have bought fanart. It's on my wall right now! You put it on my wall, so.

FK: I did! I hung it up.

ELM: The one exception that I feel like I've seen recently is the Pottery Barn teen Harry Potter collection, which literally...

FK: It's pretty good.

ELM: That's like, oh. If you asked me to design...something about that really works. But it's the first time that I've ever seen anything like that at that scale where I was just like, holy shit.

FK: Yeah, Outlander's done a pretty good job of it in general, I think, better than most other brands like this, but I completely agree with you that a lot of times people will be like ok great yeah let's slap a production still up and call it a day, right? Here's a glamor shot of the hot dude.

ELM: I don't wanna be dismissive of people who wanna buy everything, you know, because if you have the resources and you want that, but I do feel like there's sometimes when I walk around Comic-Con I feel a little...I feel like they're not taking fans...sometimes I feel like they're not respecting fans as much as they could. It's like oh yeah, we'll just stick whatever. They like the logo on anything. And you're like, this could be so much cuter! But you think that it'll just sell anyway. And it will!

FK: I think there's that, I think there's also just sort of the ways that people get used to doing it, you know? Like, so for instance, you have sort of an overall deal with a company that's going to be making shirts for all of your new shows, and they're gonna make them all pretty much in the same way cause you don't know yet, and then after a little while you just sort of are in that groove, right? 

ELM: Sure.

FK: I think there's some amount of... yeah.

ELM: And it's a question of scale, right. So it's super easy if you're a creator on Etsy or a fanartist on whatever site you sell your stuff on or, you know, just do it via Tumblr and then see what happens, or if you're doing it in an ad hoc on demand sort of way. Oh, I love your art, I'll buy it! As opposed to having to plan to order 5000 of them or something. I think that's a lot easier...it's very easy for me to sit here and criticize and be like. But how are they to know?

FK: Right, and there's also the once something gets going, then do you want them to create...do you want an official company to create something that kinda rips off something all the fans are doing?

ELM: Yeah, that's a huge thing. Yeah, definitely.

FK: Cause how would they know before the fans made it? But then once the fans have made it, do you want them to go in and make an official shirt? You know?

ELM: It just looks so lame, though! That looks like, how do you do fellow kids, if the...

FK: But all the merch is... it's sort of irritating, right? Oh great, that's...so it's complex. To be fair, I think that it would probably be good if they did that, ultimately, but I would totally see why people would not think that. It would be fair. I don't know. It's a tough nut.

ELM: So let's decouple this a little bit from merchandise. Should we be concerned that Sony is hiring a third party organization that is shutting down fan sites that it sounds like were primarily, maybe they did have some merchandise, but primarily were meant to be fan sites, as far as we understand. I think we should not be pleased.

FK: I think this is something that we should be, and something that people have been concerned about, especially in the world of fanvidding, right? So lots of companies hire third parties to go through and find...

ELM: On YouTube.

FK: Yeah. And some of it's, more of it's automated now than used to be, right? It's hardly the only case. The whole history of, was it the DMCA? The royalties for using the song on YouTube and all this stuff? It's been so fraught I feel like, since the entire time YouTube has existed.

FK: Completely, completely. So I think that this is not the only case in which this is happening. And it's a similar case in that in neither instance are there hard and fast rules that fans can follow. Right? But also, when there are hard and fast rules, fans don't necessarily want that as we can witness from the Star Trek...

ELM: Yeah.

FK: The Star Trek and Paramount lawsuits. They're totally within their rights to say these are the things we won't prosecute and these are the things we're gonna go after, but man, nobody wants that, it's tonedeaf and it's bad for fans.

ELM: Right, totally. I just feel like it's really tricky and I feel like, this makes me feel a lot of thoughts at a historical point where I think many people rightly so are heavily critical of the centralization that Facebook has created. Right? So it's interesting because it simultaneously hearkens back to, say, the year 2000, makes me think of Yahoo shutting down groups after the rightsholders came after, said you need to do this, and yahoo was like OK I'll do what you say. So it simultaneously makes me think of three internets ago, three webs ago basically...

FK: Three internets ago! That's perfect that's totally the way to put it.

ELM: It's true though! Literally talk about the eras and the way people talked about or rightsholders dealt with fans online. But it's more complicated now at a moment when from my perspective in the media I'm heavily critical of Facebook and the way Facebook has been playing this sort of very specific game with the media over the last four years or so, doing this sort of... it's not a carrot and stick, it's more like they keep changing the vegetable and then taking it away. Is that a really overwrought metaphor?

FK: A little but it's OK, we'll go with it, we'll go with it.

ELM: For example, last year they were like "we're doing live video now and that's the future of Facebook." And they got all these media partners to come in and start investing a lot in live video, and that didn't even last a year. They were like "OK, well we got what we needed and we're gonna handle all this." They did this game with media creators where they were like "we'll give you great exposure" and then six months later they're like "we don't actually need you to create the content anymore, thanks for getting things started." And this is happening across, the amount of power that Facebook has is only growing. So that's one thing that really worries me about the fact that this happened on Facebook in particular.

FK: I think there's also something complex about it in the way that Diana Gabaldon functions almost as the saint that you pray to for intercession with God, right? Like I said, this is something where she comes off very well, she totally treated her fans right, she went and found out answers and really pursued it and figured it out and was able to answer it. She even got them, for the people who had had their stuff taken down unfairly, got them a real human being to go and complain directly to and to talk with and got everything restored, right. I mean, that's the impression that I have at least from everything I've read, not being central to Outlander fandom. It's always possible that someone has had failures in getting things restored but I haven't seen that. So on the one hand, great, thank you Diana you did a nice thing, but on the other hand it's tough because we need the intercession of somebody like this who has power.

ELM: Right, but that's absurd. Because that's not gonna work for so many...I mean, whether it's living creators who are operating on a bigger scale. What would happen if this was Star Wars, right? Maybe not Star Wars, but I'm trying to think of what would happen if this was the MCU. Is there an individual that you could go to who could be your very loud voice in the room to fight for you? Probably not.

FK: Right, and that's one of the things that's complicated about the way that...

ELM: It's not a good model, I think. Lower level creators, smaller creators, obviously. People who will respond to your tweets and stuff. You know. That's one thing. But what about something for like, Lord of the Rings sites? There's no actual. Who's in charge of that?

FK: That's complicated!

ELM: Who holds those rights? What individual could fight for the fans? Probably no one.

FK: I was gonna say or in places where there's a writer's room and you can have varying opinions and not even, aren't necessarily...whose job is it? Sometimes it goes through the cracks.

ELM: Yeah, though in a writer's room there usually will be a showrunner.

FK: Sure there'll be a showrunner but maybe they're not the person who the fans interact with the most, maybe they don't know, maybe there are other people who are also powerful in this. It's a complicated question. This is one of the reasons that I often advocate for there being a clearly designated both inside and outside person who is gonna be that person, but I don't know that...

ELM: You advocate when you talk to...

FK: Yeah, when I work with people, when I talk to creators, when I talk to people who are building a franchise, I say look, you need to make sure that there's somebody who can be in this role, whoever it is. And who's actually gonna be able to get listened to. Because otherwise you're going to have a real problem. This is probably the best outcome Sony could have hoped for given what happened, I think. Fans understand about the counterfeiting and also everything's getting fixed, hooray! Right.

ELM: Sounds like a great outcome for them because honestly I didn't hear anything about this! You told me about it. And I think that I am fairly plugged into the world of fandom happenings. It didn't cross my feeds at all. So that seems like a win for Sony.

FK: Anyway, you know.

ELM: So we're giving them bad PR right now that's great.

FK: No I don't think so, I think actually this is...I'm not sure it's bad PR. I think that given what happened they're doing the best that they could and that's not perfect, it's not the happy world where nothing ever went wrong, but I don't know it's tough.

ELM: So I guess I'm not wholly convinced though, bringing it back to my concerns about Facebook or the other platforms right now, that...I'm not feeling like things are kind of stable for the future in this realm.

FK: No, and I don't know where it's going either. The more that people get channeled into fewer and fewer spaces and the more control people can exercise over those spaces I think is...it's tough.

ELM: Yeah and one thing that's become kind of laughably clear, I was trying to think of the right adverb, adjective? Adverb? Adverb. Ends with an LY.

FK: Ends with an LY, there we go, it's an adverb, I know how it works.

ELM: Is that the people crafting these platforms and the people making decisions previously and currently, they're not acting in good faith. I don't think they have an average user's best interests at heart. I think if it comes down to a corporation versus an individual, I think Facebook will side with the corporation. I don't think that's a...

FK: I don't think that's a controversial thing to say, I think that's life in capitalism.

ELM: I know. You love capitalism so defend that one! I think there are people who work in the tech industry who if they were in charge would not be making these decisions. But I think that the people in charge of these platforms some of them are fools and some of them are bad actors and mostly fools. I would say. This is just me, me just letting my opinions out about social media platforms right  now...so I just think we should be concerned. 

FK: Yeah. I mean, I agree! [ELM laughs] And I think that a lot of the things about fandom that we find toxic or troubling or problematic have to do with the structures of the sites and the spaces that fandom is exciting in, not solely, because people gonna people, but I think there's a lot of structural stuff going on that is really troubling, even when everybody is behaving in...even when all the fans are behaving in the nicest ways possible, even when the creator is behaving reasonably and even when one of the corporations involved is being relatively cool, we're still in this structural space that makes it incredibly easy for things to get abused.

ELM: A hundred percent. And the authors of these spaces are either not paying attention or don't care.

FK: Right.

ELM: Or don't see themselves as culpable, it's a huge thing. There's this massive narrative that Facebook has and Twitter has, I don't think Tumblr is quite the same, but it's a similar sort of thing where they literally refuse to acknowledge that they're anything less than a force for good. I just, I got this thing on my Facebook the other day, it was like wanna take a survey? And I was like yeah why the hell not? And I can't remember what the first question was, but I remember what the second question was: "Do you agree or disagree with this statement: Facebook is a force for good in the world." And I was like woah, guys, that's question number two?! So like, how...that was really grim to me, I thought. And I said disagree. And I wouldn't be surprised if the questions, the questions I got after that were like "But doesn't Facebook help keep you connected to friends? Don't you enjoy talking to your friends on Facebook?" And I bet I would not have gotten those questions if I had said Facebook was a force for good in the world.

FK: Well, that's super depressing.

ELM: I'm just saying!

FK: Do you think that...I think maybe we've come to the end of this segment now that we're all thoroughly depressed about social media. Do you think we should take a break and then talk about another corporation that's kinda screwing us?

ELM: Oh, that's a perfect transition! Yes, let's do that. 

[Interstitial music]

FK: Alright, so if you guessed what corporation was kinda screwing us and you guessed Patreon you're right!

ELM: So full disclosure we are recording this on Thursday, December 7th, so yesterday, Wednesday, Patreon creators got an email and today...and literally we, every single one of us immediately started tweeting about it and screenshotting the email, so I don't know why they didn't just send it out to everyone at once because obviously we're all gonna share it. Today they republished the email for patrons, and we're not happy, but I think we should say that we don't know what's gonna happen in the next few days, if Patreon is gonna respond or not.

FK: So previously what would happen is you would pledge your dollar to our Patreon, say, and then when it came the end of the month, Patreon would run that dollar, you know, charge it off your credit card, and then they would take out the processing fees and give us what was left.

ELM: So it was something like 5% goes to Patreon, and I understand they do need to take a cut so they can run the website and they're a company, and obviously they provide infrastructure and everything, and then a good portion of it was credit card fees also.

FK: Right, Stripe or Paypal fees.

ELM: Yeah so something like, it was, you know, at least 10% came out. So we were actually getting 90 cents when you pledge your dollar. Which obviously adds up, but it is what it is. I don't know of anywhere that doesn't take fees.

FK: Right. So what would happen thin is that if you pledged to more than one Patreon, those fees would be taken out of all of the different people you pledged to in proportion.

ELM: So if you pledged a dollar to 10 different people you'd be charged [fees] for $10 total by Patreon each month. Is it consistent? The fees are not consistent, I don't think.

FK: They're not and that's what was important. Patreon -

ELM: So creators would get, it's a gamble. It's never massively different, right?

FK: Right, we're not talking huge amounts of money. For any individual creator you're getting a relatively small amount more or less each month depending on how many other people your patrons were pledging to and how much they were pledging to each of them.

ELM: Unless you were one of the gentlemen who runs that leftist podcast.

FK: And gets a bajillion dollars a month, right. So they've changed it now whereby each of your pledges will automatically have credit card fees taken out of it right up front. Or rather, you will get charged more, because there's these fees, right? And they're saying this is good because creators are now getting 95% of every pledge every time.

ELM: And they sold it, tried to sell it by saying it's consistent. You can plan for it. You know?

FK: And don't get me wrong, that's nice, but the bigger issue and the thing that people are ignoring is that they're actually taking more fees in total than they did before.

ELM: Because it's 35 cents per pledge plus something like 3%?

FK: 2.7 maybe.

ELM: Yeah, so, you know, if you're pledging $10 a month to us, we're talking about what 50 cents?

FK: Not so bad.

ELM: But if you're pledging a dollar across 10 different people, that's the fee on every single one, you're suddenly paying like $15 a month. I mean, and even if it's just 50 cents for the $10 pledge it's still, it's tedious, right? 

FK: It is and the thing that actually bothers me more is that this is basically a change that's gonna mean that Patreon is making more money for themselves and I could have accepted that if they had framed it that way, as we need to reshape this, we aren't...we need to take out more fees and this is how we're gonna do it and it will also have this benefit for creators. But they sort of skeevily tried to say that this is all for the good of creators and it's not gonna be a big deal to patrons.

ELM: In the email they were like, "we tested it with some users and they were like, 'I'm really grateful that the creators will get more money!' And I will be willing to bet some money on the fact that they framed it in a way that didn't fully explain the situation.

FK: Well, whether they did or didn't it's also just like...man, you know, you coulda been honest.

ELM: Yeah but I'm skeptical they were even honest about that. But who knows, we'll never know.

FK: By the time this airs we may know more about the situation and we'll keep people updated on our Twitter and assuming, after a little while once things seem to have shaken out we'll send something around to Patreon patrons. We hope that people will still keep supporting us but that they'll keep in mind that we're pissed off at Patreon right now. We'll see what happens. 

ELM: Yeah and I think that a lot of, this definitely seems like it's going to hurt both small pledgers, small patrons, people pledging 1, 2, 3 dollars, and small creators who if you're bringing in less than $500 a month I would say that's probably relatively small and probably the bulk of that is gonna be in super small pledges, right? And so the scale at which they...it really feels like a decision that was only made thinking about the really big accounts. 

FK: Absolutely and it's also been really eye-opening to me to see how many other Patreons have higher rates and have people supporting them at higher rates? I was like wow, almost everybody supports us at low rates and we're very happy.

ELM: What do you  mean, you mean you were surprised to see how many other people didn't have as many dollar...?

FK: Had patrons who were supporting them at, you know, $20 a month or something like that. I don't see that as...that's not how I want our Patreon to be, right? I want to have a broad base of people who are all kicking in a little money.

ELM: Oh yeah, 100%. I have not seen that, I have seen a lot of...I feel like especially for podcasts a lot of people do dollars.

FK: Yeah, I mean, it's both, I just didn't realize until now I didn't realize that there were people who got most of their pledges from...

ELM: Right, and I've seen a bunch of people on my feed in the last few days who I'm friends with which I didn't realize saying "I give $20 a month," but across 20 different projects. Those are the exact people that this is going to screw over, and what a wonderful opportunity squandered. They created an incredible system by which you could give a dollar to 20 different independent creators that you like! And then they don't give a fuck. Patreon doesn't give a fuck. Makes me mad! Corporations are bad, Flourish!

FK: OK.

ELM: I know you love capitalism but capitalism isn't good!

FK: [laughs] I just love how you work yourself up about this so much as if you don't know that I am a socialist also.

ELM: YOU CAN'T BE YOU'RE A CAPITALIST what are you China?? NO! Flourish! No!

FK: Oh my God ok ok. Um. I think the takeaway people should take from this is we'll keep communicating to you about this, we hope people will still support us on Patreon...

ELM: If another service emerges, I know that Kickstarter's launched Drip, which also seemed frankly geared towards large creators and I understand why corporations are doing this but they're pieces of shit for this, corporations are bad, let's reiterate.

FK: Oh my God keep going.

ELM: [laughs] So we're gonna keep an eye on Drip and I've seen multiple podcasts within the last 24 hours be like, "We're gonna have alternate solutions for you in the next week!" And I'm like what are you planning? So I'm gonna just keep an eye on that and then maybe we'll copy them.

FK: Yeah we'll see what happens.

ELM: So. But I mean, obviously migrating anyone off this is gonna be miserable, so I don't know what we'll do if you guys have thoughts, please send them our way but we just wanted to be super frank with you. One thing this has really exposed to me is how many creators were mad about it yesterday and how many I thought were being quite frank about it, which was great. This is an ecosystem full of people who just wanna make stuff and not be broke while they make it and everything's in good faith except for patreon.com.

FK: Well on that note, should we wrap up do you think?

ELM: We can't ask anyone to pledge at this point. You know what we also have a Paypal! [laughing] If you were thinking about becoming a Patron please feel free.

FK: OK, OK.

ELM: I don't know, what do we say? We can't advertise Patreon at this moment in time!

FK: Well we just spent a lot of time talking about it, so, um, if anybody doesn't know about it by now I think, you know.

ELM: I'm just saying, yeah, if you wanna join us now, we do have some great patrons-only things coming up in the next few weeks!

FK: It's true.

ELM: We are going to be sending out the winter tiny zine in the next few days and more importantly I've convinced Flourish to watch a comedy. A situation comedy.

FK: It's true because I love bi representation.

ELM: That is literally not why we decided to do this. Oh my God. She already agreed to this before, spoiler, on this past week's Brooklyn 99 Rosa, everyone's favorite surly detective, came out as bi. And said "I'm bi." Which as you know on television is quite rare.

FK: Never happens.

ELM: The actress is bi and she had some really awesome things to say about why she thought...she actually, did you read her quote about it?

FK: Yes.

ELM: Yeah and it was great, she was like I actually don't know if I use the word bi anymore because I feel like that, I don't know if that's as inclusive as I wanna be so I prefer queer, but I think it's important to say bi on TV. So. She's amazing. You're gonna be wowed when you see her speak in real life and then speak on the show.

FK: OK.

ELM: No, it's really, it's hilarious. But we, I had already gotten Flourish to agree to watch it because they just did a con episode and so we wanna talk a little bit about the depictions of cons and fan culture.

FK: Yep.

ELM: In popular media.

FK: Yep indeed.

ELM: So we're gonna be recording that super soon so if you are a patron that will be coming your way if you pledge at the $3 level.

FK: Yes indeed. And in the meantime, if you're not a Patron, you don't want to be, whatever, one way you can support us is also by talking to us, giving us comments, critiques, questions, fansplaining.com is a Tumblr with an open ask box, anon is on, please be kind, we also have a phone number that is on fansplaining.com that you can call and leave us a voice mail, or send us an email fansplaining@gmail.com, hit us up on Twitter at Fansplaining, and we would love to hear from you.

ELM: Also iTunes.

FK: We love getting reviews on iTunes! It helps other people find us so if you have a chance please give us as many stars as you think we deserve, we think it is 5, and say nice things about us. Don't say mean things. We don't like that.

ELM: Final order of business, we've been posting the links over the last week or so but we did a quite long interview with Henry Jenkins. It's very long.

FK: It was very long. Henry's very long in general.

ELM: He asked us a lot of questions but we just went to town. We wrote a lot of things down. So it's over multiple parts so we're gonna be sharing the links in the show notes but if you are a fan of the show you are definitely the target demographic for this interview. So yeah check it out! We'd love to know. I feel like we said some actually kinda substantive things, so if people wanna respond to anything we said...he asked us some hard questions and we gave our opinions, which was great.

FK: Indeed.

ELM: Yeah!

FK: Alright, well.

ELM: Flourish.

FK: What.

ELM: Corporations are bad.

FK: Oh. Well, yeah, well. I don't know what you want me to say. I'll talk to you later, Elizabeth!

ELM: [laughing] I want you to denounce them!

FK: I don't...I don't know that there's anything that I can say that will sufficiently [laughing] satisfy you! And I'll talk to you later Elizabeth!

ELM: OK bye Flourish!

FK: Bye!

[Out on laughter, outro music, thank yous and disclaimers]

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